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Regency Portraits Catalogue

Thomas Grenville (1755-1846), Book collector and diplomat

Oil traditionally attributed to Zoffany at Dolben (Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn), small whole-length in a landscape, dark blue coat, yellow breeches, hat and stick (John Steegman, A Survey of Portraits in Welsh Houses, I, p 135).

Drawing by Edridge formerly at Holland House (Catalogue addenda, 492-7), one of five friends of C. J. Fox believed to be Grenville but looks rather too old, three-quarter-length seated in profile to left.

Oil by Hoppner formerly at Coed-y-Maen (W. McKay & W. Roberts, John Hoppner R.A., p 109), half-length seated to left in buttoned coat with high collar, mezzotint by Charles Turner titled: The Rt Hon Thos Grenville MP 1805 and published by Turner himself 18 November 1805 (Alfred Whitman, Charles Turner, 1907, 235).

Oil by Hoppner formerly at Dropmore and now Ebrington Manor or Boconnoc, half-length seated to right in a black coat, exhibited RA 1807 (60) and Third Exhibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1868 (59), mezzotint by W. Say published 1808 and stipple by Dean for Jerdan's National Portrait Galley, 1830. Several unfinished versions and sketches were in the Hoppner sale 1823 (W. McKay & W. Roberts, John Hoppner R.A., pp 124-5); a copy in a blue coat was at Christie's 19 May 1939 (103), another in a black coat at Sotheby's 18 March 1970 (25), and another is at Hughenden Manor (200).

Oil by Phillips at Althorp, listed in Phillips's Sitter Book, April 1810 as 'Honble J. Spencer for Earl Spencer 294 ¾' but exhibited RA 1810 (47) as Grenville (Walpole Soc. Journal, XLV, 1976, no.497 and reproduced plate 21).

Marble busts by Comolli in British Museum (Grenville Library) and Plymouth Art Gallery (on loan from Boconnoc) - neither of these are dated but they appear to be aged about 65, therefore c.1820 when Comolli was working in London. The British Museum bust was given by Sir David Dundas, the Boconnoc bust was probably acquired by Lord Fortescue at the Stowe sale 21 August 1848 (761) among a group of marbles from the Grenville drawing-room.

Lithograph by R. J. Lane drawn for J. Dickinson 21 November 1835 (R. J. Lane’s accounts and letters, II, 2).

Watercolour drawing, probably a miniature, by James Holmes exhibited SBA 1837 (678).

Miniature by Camillo Manzini (NPG 517).

Drawing by George Richmond at Inverary Castle, listed in Richmond's Account Book under the year 1845 'chalk £52.10.0', exhibited RA 1845 (942) and Victorian Exhibition 1892 (360) lent by the Duke of Argyll; it was lithographed by Posselwhite 'Thomas Grenville in his 90th year 1845'. Richmond described this life-sized portrait as 'one of the most successful drawings I ever made … He has sat to many artists but thought mine the best portrait which had been taken of him. His valet of 40 years service thought the same. To please both servant and Master is unusual felicity' (Richmond's diary 12 February 1845 cit. Stirling, Richmond Papers, 1926, pp 58-9).

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.